The Stockbridge Series # 1
By- Gail Avery Halverson
Genre- Historical Fiction/Romance
Bound since childhood to an arranged marriage with the restless and irresponsible heir of Houghton Hall, Viscount Miles Houghton; Lady Catherine Abbott, now grown, finds herself torn between duty to her family and her smoldering ambitions. Possessed of a nimble, curious mind, a love of science and the natural world, and a singular talent for illustration, Catherine desperately longs to accomplish something before she resigns herself to a loveless marriage and the idle, aristocratic whirl of parties and social gatherings within the confines of the palatial Houghton Hall.
Banished before his final year of medical training for pushing harder on the boundaries of scientific knowledge than any student at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, the mysterious and driven Simon McKensie has blurred the lines between research and criminality and must now choose between exile to the rural country village of Wells, or the hangman’s noose.
When the terrifying Great Plague of 1665 spreads from London to Wells, the town’s very existence is threatened and Catherine must confront her fears, her place in the world – and the burning passions she has long held inside.
If The Boundary Stone was made into a movie and you could cast anyone you wanted, who would you choose?
When writing the book, the only character I had firmly etched in my mind was Simon. Years ago, I met an actor named Dean Butler who, in his twenties, played “Almanzo” on “Little House on the Prairie.” At the time I met him, Dean had blond hair, blue eyes with pale lashes and a sweet, kind smile. He was over six feet tall, with a strong, muscular physique. For Simon, I would cast a young Dean Butler.
While Catherine is beautiful, her looks are secondary to her intelligence, and her eyes reflect that calm, steady intelligence. With red hair, deep blue-gray eyes and pale skin, I would choose a young Cate Blanchett to play Catherine.
Although this actor is blond in real life and Miles’ hair is dark, he embodies a bad-boy elegance and has a naturally aristocratic air. For Miles, I would dye his hair and cast Jude Law.
For Sir Abbott, I would choose an actor whose radiates natural kindness and who could easily carry off the elegant breeches, waistcoats and elaborate wigs of the 17th Century. I would choose an English actor by the name of Jim Broadbent.
While Aunt Viola has an imperious way about her, she also lends a light comic touch to the story. The actress I would choose would need to walk a fine line between drama and comedy. I would cast the English actress Julie Walters to play Aunt Viola.
The Lord Mayor is also a comic foil to Simon’s seriousness. Pompous and serious when necessary, and gleefully unrepentant in his quest for female companionship, I would choose Albert Finney to play the Lord Mayor.
About the Author
GAIL HALVERSON is the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for over 250,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a degree in English Literature and Communications from the University of California, Davis; and is currently at work on a television pilot for Double Trouble Productions, Inc. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son. The Boundary Stone is her first novel.
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